The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has sharpened its definition of what will - and won't - constitute a surface disturbance under Gov. Tom Corbett's plan to open areas below public lands to natural gas extraction without cutting trees or moving earth on newly leased tracts.
Gas companies operating in and around the Marcellus shale say they are increasingly hiring skilled workers for engineering and construction jobs as the industry matures beyond the rush to drill wells.
Science requires replication, and lots of it. So it's been difficult to gauge the health impacts of shale development from a few scattered studies, says Bernard Goldstein, a public health expert who once led the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health and remains an active voice in the fracking health debate.
The U.S. nitrogen fertilizer market will soon reach a point of saturation, following the sharp increase in capacity in recent years as the cost of natural gas - used in fertilizer production - fell with the fracking boom.